Twenty-year-old Tran Huyen Huong is a Vet. School drop-out with a passion for felines. Last month, she opened the first coffee shop for cat lovers in Hanoi, called the "Ailu Coffee Cat."
The small cafe, located at 4 Thuy Khue Street in Tay Ho District, was modeled after Tokyo cafes that cater to cat fanciers.
For Huong, it's good enough that Ailu is now becoming a popular spot among local teenagers. She has promoted the business solely through Facebook.
"I've loved cats since I was a kid," Huong said. "It took me only a month to open this shop,"
The two-story shop normally houses about 20 cats, which Huong personally bought, raised or adopted. The shop sometimes accepts strays.
Occasionally, it closes for cleaning (lots of cat hair) and vet visits. Huong sees about 150 customers a day. People come in to play with the cats; others bring in their own cats to be socialized.
Vu Quynh Thu, a 12th-grader, said she often comes here to release stress after studying. "Watching all these cats helps me relax," she said.
In the upcoming months, Huong said she might organize a cat competition. "I have absolutely no plans to compete with other coffee shops," she said. "If people like it, they will come."
Just a month after its opening, Ailu has already been featured on national television and numerous online news stories.